National MMIWG inquiry

Final leg of national missing women inquiry begins in B.C.

More than 100 people set to speak over five days at Richmond hotel

More than 100 people were set to speak in Richmond beginning today, during the final leg of hearings in Canada’s national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

“The courageous people who have come forward and who will come forward to share their truths are re-writing Canadian history,” said chief commissioner Marion Buller during the opening prayers at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel.

The five days of hearings will see the 1,000th testimony heard during the inquiry, which began in May 2017. The inquiry was launched in 2016 after calls for action from Indigenous families and organizations as a way towards reconciliation.

The commissioners’ mandate is to examine and report on the systemic causes of all forms of violence against Indigenous women and girls in Canada by looking at patterns and underlying factors, and form recommendations in a final report to the federal government.

With unlimited time, as well as support from family members and friends, the speakers are scheduled to share their stories of violence, sexual exploitation and calls for healing.

Opening prayers during the first day of five in last community hearing for the national inquiry into missing and murdered women and girls. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)


Grand Chief Stewart Phillip called on witnesses to stand together, “shoulder to shoulder,” and support each other through telling their truths.

“It’s important for this country and for our people to here to know and understand the dark underside, the brutal side, of the colonial experience, the residential school system, the apprehension of our children by the province,” Phillip said, “and all the discriminatory and racist things that have happened to Indigenous peoples in this country, that have caused great harm, great hardship and heartbreak.”

WATCH: MMIWG livestream of public hearings in Vancouver

Advocate Gladys Radek called for the public to hold the government accountable for action after the hearing is complete.

“We don’t want this inquiry to be a fail, and we’re not going to allow the government to make it a failure,” said Radek, whose 22-year-old niece Tamara Lynn Chipman disappeared while hitchhiking in Prince Rupert in 2005.

Gladys Radek calls for accountability and action by government in last leg of national inquiry Wednesday. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)


Buller and three other comissioners are waiting to hear from the federal government on her request to extend the inquiry to a full two years.

Buller made the call for an extension to Indigneous Afairs Minister Carolyn Bennet in March. If granted, the time would be used to speak with experts, host roundtable discussions and hold further inquiries in more communities across the country.

If the extension is not granted, the final report is expected to be complete by the end of the year, translated into both French and Indigenous languages before being released to the public in 2019.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Elder Marge George delivers a morning prayer during the first day of five in the last community hearing of the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press)

Just Posted

In Pictures: Rock the Plank! brings in the booty

Pirate-themed skate party raises $2,500 for new Masset Skate Society

Haida Gwaii fishing grounds are key to survival of northern resident killer whales: DFO

Plan marks waters from Langara to Rose Spit as critical habitat for northern resident killer whales

Masset suggests a simpler structure for Gwaii Trust

Change would parallel existing municipal, regional district representation for non-Haida communities

Grade 9s on Gwaii Haanas trip visit “the best spot on Haida Gwaii”

Now in its fourth year, Grade 9 trip gives Haida Gwaii youth a chance to visit Tanu and Windy Bay

Live-streaming ancient undersea volcanoes in HD

16-day expedition maps SG̱aan Ḵinghlas-Bowie, Dellwood, and Explorer seamounts

VIDEO: Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

One year later: Still no suspects in killing of 13-year-old B.C. girl

Marrisa Shen was killed in Burnaby’s Central Park on July 18, 2017

BC Games opening ceremonies promise to be magical

Features Shane Koyczan and his band, Asani, parade of athletes, and lots more

VIDEO: Toronto Raptors send DeMar DeRozan to Spurs in colossal NBA trade

Toronto also sent Jakob Poeltl and 2019 first-round pick, gets Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green

More lightning forecast as storm sparks 38 new wildfires in B.C.

22 new fires in are burning in the Kamloops Fire Centre according to the BC Wildfire Service.

Banff’s bathroom bears returned to the park after 15 months of rehab in Ontario

Black bears, now yearlings, were sent to the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Ontario last April

‘Recovery high schools,’ per diems urged to better manage addiction in B.C.

BC Centre for Substance Use says focus needs to shift to from overdose prevention to long-term care

Man hit over the head with a hatchet released from hospital

Prince Rupert RCMP have been in a standoff with a violent suspect since the early morning

Most Read